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Looking to boost your hotel’s restaurant revenue? Be sure you’re not making any of these five mistakes.
1. NEGLECTING HOME COOKING
When they’re on vacation, guests like to be treated to something special — including spectacular dining options. But that doesn’t mean you can forget homestyle cooking in favor of exotic cuisines. Remember, seasoned travelers like their comfort food.
Go ahead and highlight that fancy French special on the menu. Just don’t let it completely replace the classics. Take a page from former Ritz-Carlton resorts chef Jeff McInnis’ playbook. “We’re not trying to elevate [your food],” he said. “We’re trying to do the best damn fried chicken you’ve ever had.”
2. INSIDER SECRETS… THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT
The idea of offering a secret off-menu cocktail for guests who are in-the-know peaked our interest. Something like the surreptitious Far East Side that isn’t on the menu (but supposedly available for order) at NYC’s Royalton Hotel bar. The only problem: this unlisted libation isn’t getting any publicity. No one knows about it.
To make a go of insiders-only cocktails that aren’t officially “advertised” in your menu, do a little bit of in-house promotion and don’t keep the drink a complete secret. Post a how-to on your blog with your bartender explaining how to mix the mysterious elixir to get the word out.
3. ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT ON REPEAT
If you’re a destination resort, you’ve probably dabbled in all-you-can-eat menus — a big draw for guests looking to snag a deal. But when your buffet begins to resemble a meal out of Groundhog Day, guests aren’t going to be happy. Unchanging menus are, in fact, the number one complaint for all-inclusive resorts.
Instead, make dinner fun by offering themed evenings. Throw a garden party on Friday, a BBQ on Saturday, a taste-of-Italy evening on Sunday, and 1960s throwback party on Monday. Who knows? Guests might stick around another day just for the dinner event.
4. ONE GRAND ENTRANCE… IN THE LOBBY
Guests know that your food is good, and the locals have heard rumors. . . But can locals find how to enter the dining room?
One big draw for locals looking to eat out is easy access. That means giving customers who aren’t staying the night access to their own door — one that doesn’t require passage through the lobby.
5. SKIMPING ON THE IN-ROOM COFFEE
Luxury hotels are known for their in-room amenities. But, according to Paul Carr, coffeemakers aren’t always included, and that’s a shame. In his Huffington Post article, Carr lamented the fact that many upscale hotels are nixing the in-room brew in favor of coffee ordered via room service. While this trend might earn you a couple extra bucks, it’s upsetting customers.
So compromise! Place a card highlighting some special made-to-order brews beside the complementary Joe. Make sure the room service coffee is worth the extra pennies by offering cappuccinos and exotic blends.